O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
revive your Church in our day,
and make her holy, strong and faithful,
for your glory’s sake
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.
Joyful shouts of salvation
sound from the tents of the righteous:
‘The right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds;
the right hand of the Lord raises up;
the right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds.’
I shall not die, but live
and declare the works of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me sorely,
but he has not given me over to death.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen.
Some Pharisees came to Jesus, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning “made them male and female”, and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ They said to him, ‘Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?’ He said to them, ‘It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but at the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.’
His disciples said to him, ‘If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.’ But he said to them, ‘Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’
This is the word of the Lord.
Let us pray to God, who from the beginning has made all things for his loving purpose.
Grant to the Church grace to witness unceasingly to Jesus Christ her Lord. Empower your ministers to proclaim his lordship and the coming of his Kingdom.
Bless and keep all children. May they grow in health of mind and body, learning to live in the way of love and faith. Grant them the loving care that will support them into happy and secure lives.
We pray for our families, and for all the families in this community. Protect and guide them day by day, as they look to you in faith for all their needs. Strengthen our love when we are together and when we are apart.
Have mercy on those whose marriages are broken or under great strain. Grant healing in the restoration of love that has been lost. Tenderly comfort the children of broken homes.
We give thanks for the departed who have been brought to glory by the power of Christ. Grant them rest and peace in the family of heaven where all are for ever one in him.
As little children, may we pray in faith and simplicity.
in whose service lies perfect freedom:
teach us to obey you
with loving hearts and steadfast wills;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore. Amen.